2 Chronicles 28

1Ahaz was 20 years old when he became king. He ruled 16 years in Jerusalem. Ahaz didn’t live right like David his ancestor. Ahaz didn’t do the things the Lord wanted him to do. 2Ahaz followed the bad example of the kings of Israel. He used molds to make idols to worship the Baal gods. 3Ahaz burned incense in the Valley of Ben Hinnom. He sacrificed his own sons by burning them in the fire. He did the same terrible sins that the peoples living in that land did. The Lord had forced those people out when the people of Israel entered that land. 4Ahaz offered sacrifices and burned incense in the high places, on the hills, and under every green tree. 5- 6Ahaz sinned, so the Lord his God let the king of Aram defeat Ahaz. The king of Aram and his army defeated Ahaz and made many people of Judah prisoners. The king of Aram took those prisoners to the city of Damascus. The Lord also let Pekah the king of Israel defeat Ahaz. Pekah’s father’s name was Remaliah. Pekah and his army killed 120,000 brave soldiers from Judah in one day. Pekah defeated those men from Judah because they stopped obeying the Lord God their ancestors obeyed. 7Zicri was a brave soldier from Ephraim. Zicri killed Maaseiah, King Ahaz’s son, Azrikam the officer in charge of the king’s house, and Elkanah. Elkanah was second in command to the king. 8The Israelite army captured 200,000 of their own relatives living in Judah. They took women, children, and many valuable things from Judah. The Israelites brought those captives and those things to the city of Samaria. 9But one of the Lord’s prophets was there. This prophet was named Oded. Oded met the Israelite army that came back to Samaria. Oded said to the Israelite army, “The Lord God your ancestors obeyed let you defeat the people of Judah because he was angry at them. You killed and punished the people of Judah in a very mean way. Now God is angry at you. 10You plan to keep the people of Judah and Jerusalem as slaves. You also have sinned against the Lord your God. 11Now listen to me. Send back your brothers and sisters that you captured. Do this because the Lord’s terrible anger is against you.” 12Then some of the leaders in Ephraim saw the Israelite soldiers coming home from war. Those leaders met the Israelite soldiers and warned them. Those leaders were Azariah son of Jehohanan, Berekiah son of Meshillemoth, Jehizkiah son of Shallum, and Amasa son of Hadlai. 13Those leaders said to the Israelite soldiers, “Don’t bring the prisoners from Judah here. If you do that, it will make us sin worse against the Lord. That will make our sin and guilt worse and the Lord will be very angry against Israel!” 14So the soldiers gave the prisoners and valuable things to those leaders and to the people of Israel. 15The leaders (Azariah, Berekiah, Jehizkiah, and Amasa) stood up and helped the prisoners. These four men got the clothes that the Israelite army took and gave them to those people that were naked. Those leaders also gave shoes to those people. They gave the prisoners from Judah something to eat and drink. They rubbed oil on those people ˻to soften and heal their wounds˼. Then those leaders from Ephraim put the weak prisoners on donkeys and took them back home to their families in Jericho, the city of palm trees. Then those four leaders went back home to Samaria. 16- 17At that same time, the people from Edom came again and defeated the people of Judah. The Edomites captured people and took them away as prisoners. So King Ahaz asked the king of Assyria to help him. 18The Philistine people also attacked the towns in the hills and in south Judah. The Philistines captured the towns of Beth Shemesh, Aijalon, Gederoth, Soco, Timnah, and Gimzo. They also captured the villages near those towns. Then the Philistines lived in those towns. 19The Lord gave troubles to Judah because King Ahaz of Judah encouraged the people of Judah to sin. He was very unfaithful to the Lord. 20Tiglath Pileser king of Assyria came and gave Ahaz trouble instead of helping him. 21Ahaz took some valuable things from the Lord’s temple and from the king’s house and from the prince’s house. Ahaz gave those things to the king of Assyria. But that didn’t help Ahaz. 22In Ahaz’s troubles, he sinned worse and became more unfaithful to the Lord. 23He offered sacrifices to the gods the people of Damascus worshiped. The people of Damascus had defeated Ahaz. So he thought to himself, “The gods the people of Aram worship helped them. So if I offer sacrifices to those gods, maybe they will help me also.” Ahaz worshiped those gods. In this way he sinned, and he made the people of Israel sin. 24Ahaz gathered the things from God’s temple and broke them to pieces. Then he closed the doors of the Lord’s temple. He made altars and put them on every street corner in Jerusalem. 25In every town in Judah Ahaz made high places for burning incense to worship other gods. Ahaz made the Lord God that his ancestors obeyed very angry. 26The other things that Ahaz did, from the beginning to the end, are written in the book, The History of the Kings of Judah and Israel. 27Ahaz died and was buried with his ancestors. The people buried Ahaz in the city of Jerusalem. But they didn’t bury Ahaz in the same burial place where the kings of Israel were buried. Hezekiah became the new king in Ahaz’s place. Hezekiah was Ahaz’s son.

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